Tags: Al-Qaida | Cuba | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | Guantanamo Bay | gitmo | terrorist

Gitmo Prisoner al-Sharbi: Saudi Rehab Center a 'Hidden Radicalization Program'

Gitmo Prisoner al-Sharbi: Saudi Rehab Center a 'Hidden Radicalization Program'

This Saudi rehab center has treated some 3,000 men convicted of terrorism-related crimes, including all those released to Saudi custody from Guantanamo Bay, and claims a success rate of 87 percent. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Monday, 28 November 2016 10:03 PM

A detainee at Guantanamo Bay claimed Saudi Arabia's so-called rehabilitation center for terrorists actually serves as a "hidden radicalization program" to train and recruit for jihad, according to journalist and author Paul Sperry.

Writing in the New York Post, Sperry, a former Washington bureau chief for Investor's Business Daily and media fellow at the Hoover Institution, cited declassified documents that quoted senior al Qaeda operative Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi at a parole board hearing last June.

According to Sperry, the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center is a rehab program praised for its effectiveness by the Obama administration, which conditioned the release of dozens of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, including former Osama bin Laden bodyguards, on their enrollment there.

"You guys want to send me back to Saudi Arabia because you believe there is a de-radicalization program on the surface," al-Sharbi testified to the detention facility parole board.

"True. You are 100 percent right, there is a strong — externally, a strong — de-radicalization program. But make no mistake, underneath there is a hidden radicalization program. There is a very hidden strong — way stronger in magnitude — broader in financing, in all that."

According to Sperry, al-Sharbi is one of the longest serving, "and most unrepentant" prisoners at the detention facility; he was captured March 28, 2002, at an al Qaeda safe house in Faisalabad, Pakistan, with senior al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah.

Sperry reported his U.S. intelligence dossier shows he told interrogators "the US got what it deserved from the terrorist attacks on 9/11."

At his parole hearing, al-Sharbi said the Saudis are "encouraging" former detainees "to fight their jihad in the States."

"They will proudly tell you they will fight terrorism," he told the board. "That means they will support it."

Sperry also reported the rehab center is more holiday resort than halfway house, where jihadists are rewarded with gourmet meals, video games, ping pong, jacuzzis and newly furnished private apartments reserved for conjugal visits. They also are allowed unescorted visits to family members.

Al-Sharbi's parole was declined and he remains at Guantanamo Bay, along with 60 detainees — down from the 241 who were there when President Barack Obama started his term, Sperry reported.

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A detainee at Guantanamo Bay claimed Saudi Arabia's so-called rehabilitation center for terrorists actually serves as a "hidden radicalization program" to train and recruit for jihad, according to journalist and author Paul Sperry.
Guantanamo Bay, gitmo, terrorist, rehab, Saudi Arabia
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2016-03-28
Monday, 28 November 2016 10:03 PM
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